Single Review: Tim McGraw, “Shotgun Rider”

Tim McGraw Shotgun Rider“Shotgun Rider”

Tim McGraw

Written by Marv Green, Hillary Lindsey, and Troy Verges

Tim McGraw’s been getting his groove back lately.  Much of his new album, Sundown Heaven Town, recalls the sound of his biggest turn-of-the-century hits without sounding dated.

“Shotgun Rider” is a great example of this, having that wistful, floating on air quality that made “Just to See You Smile” and “For a Little While” so infectious.  Sure, he’s singing about riding around town in his truck with a pretty girl.  Hardly groundbreaking lyrical territory these days.

But this song’s about fidelity and commitment, sprinkled with those little lyrical details that always made McGraw’s best hits so special.  Remember the “BBQ stain on my white t-shirt” and “the two of hearts to mark her page”?  Here, it’s not wanting to wake up and watch “an new girl putting on her make up before dinner on Friday night.”   He’s found his shotgun rider, and doesn’t want anybody else beside him, “singing to the radio.”

Speaking of singing, he’s doing it without the over assist of autotune, which has dragged down too many of his more recent hits.  He sounds like Tim McGraw again.

It’s a throwback that feels contemporary, like an old friend coming back to town and reminding you why you became friends in the first place.

Grade: B+


  1. Yes, this is such a contrast to bro-country — fidelity, not fantasy. I fully expect country to continue writing about trucks and girls in trucks, but that’s not a bad thing in the right context and with the right lyricism. Kudos to Tim and his team.

  2. I like it. Hopefully, the rest of the album is as good.

    I didn’t care much for the “Two Lanes of Freedom” album. My favorite song on “Freedom” was an album track, “Friend of a Friend” (Mark Irwin, Josh Kear & andrew Dorff). I really liked the lyrics but i would have preferred a more acoustic treatment.

  3. Don’t love it, but like it. Sounds good, nice theme. Not the sort of classic he once cranked out regularly, but baby steps. At least Tim’s managed to stop actively embarrassing himself for the moment.

  4. Kevin Davis, I was going to say the same thing. There’s nothing wrong with a “riding around with your girl” song when it’s done right,. And like you put it, this one is not about the fantasy end of it. Plus, for this song, it’s more of an analogy than it is literal.

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